The park, Ravensburg State Park, was one of many Civilian Conservation Corps projects of the late depression-era. As if the waterway and rocks were not enough, the CCC architecture has earned the park a place on the National Register of Historic Places.
The park sits in the gorge created over the millennia by Rauchtown Creek. The creek along with the freezing and thawing in the sandstone created the spires known as Castle Rocks. They are back there, behind the picnic area and the CCC dam-created swimming hole. I never remember exploring them when young. Dry, dull sandstone doesn’t have the attraction of the water and rocks of the run.
But there was something about The Rocks that made them more than a babbling book. I remember standing by the falls made by the dam and listening. I had no words for it. I couldn’t describe it. It just felt real. True. Something to depend on; something that would always be there.
Odd, isn’t it, to speak of water in those terms? Maybe it was the ancient mountains and rocks that helped. Maybe it was the primal knowledge that these rocks and this water path had been around for a long time. The Rocks is green and mossy and alive. It provides life and food and sustenance. It is off the beaten path- alive only briefly- but what an explosion of life. There are dense stands of trees along the Run. Only the dam area is in the “open,” a necessity of construction no doubt. A few yards up- or down-stream the sun is shaded, the temperature drops noticeably and the sound of the water increases.
Some places are holy for various reasons for various people. What draws some of us to parched deserts and others to the prodigal wildness of places like The Rocks? Why do some have a constant irresistible pull from an invisible God in a visible universe while others look at you like you’re speaking a foreign language?